Jot Down Your Thoughts with a Note-Taking Application

Ever since I started digging into themes at Automattic, I have found that I’ve been keeping way more notes than ever before — I jot down everything: common procedures, code snippets, tidbits from discussions, links, and random ideas.

At first I was just using a text file. However, after several months, my “everything.txt” file was growing massively out of control. I decided that a dedicated notes application would be a more efficient way to keep track of things, plus offer much more functionality.

In particular, I was looking for an application with the following features:

  • The ability to quickly search existing notes
  • The ability to tag notes
  • The ability to sync notes across my computer and iPhone so that I can have all of my inspiration with me, at all times.

There are plenty of note-taking applications, but I have been using Simplenote. There is both a free and paid version, but so far the free version has been more than adequate for my needs. To sync my notes onto my Mac, I use Notational Velocity, which is an open-source application. Now, whenever inspiration strikes, I can create a new note on my iPhone if I’m on on the go, or directly on the Mac if I’m at my desk, and they will automatically sync.

As I mentioned earlier, there are plenty of other note-taking applications out there besides Simplenote. Here’s a Lifehacker article that lists five popular note taking applications.

Do you like to take notes as you work? If so, please share any tools and applications that you have found useful, as well as the types of notes you like to take!

5 thoughts on “Jot Down Your Thoughts with a Note-Taking Application

  1. Thanks for this, I’ve been using Simplenote for a while but will try Notional Velocity. Love the opening line on their website “It is an attempt to loosen the mental blockages to recording information and to scrape away the tartar of convention that handicaps its retrieval. The solution is by nature nonconformist.”

  2. I use Evernote every now and then, but I have to thank you for the idea to use it for WordPress stuff like code snippets and links, and even snapshots.

    Evernote is doing a great job for those things you need, including the Sync. It works on Mac and on the iPhone, it has folders, notes with tags, a good search and more. :) And there are a dozen of Chrome extensions for this handy app.

  3. I found Workflowy around christmas time and haven’t looked back. My evernote usage has dwindled to nothing, and I’ve left off all other apps. Not sure why its so great, but I was convinced after the first use.

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